With Summer Break upon us, it's time to hit the beach with a book! Here you'll find Shipley faculty and staff's recommendations for great reads across genres. This is a very readable story of lawyer Bryan Stevenson's work with death row inmates through his organization, Equal Justice Initiative, in Montgomery, Alabama.
As the school year comes to a close, our seniors are starting to say their goodbyes. This post is taken from a speech by senior and All School President Katie Balun, who spoke at a recent event welcoming new Shipley parents to our community. Hello, everyone! My name is Katie Balun.
Ernest Hemingway's The The Old Man and the Sea and our recent All-School Assembly reinforced for Steve the importance of understanding that what we initially see in people may not be who they really are. "Let’s continue to work together so that our students have the transforming experiences that allow them to develop and share their voice and go on to utilize the courage necessary to deal with inequities and make a difference."
During a cooking lesson with his wife, daughter, and son-in-law, Steve noticed a deep connection between her work and what we believe at Shipley. "As she spoke, she emphasized that her background in science, math, and psychology were important factors in becoming a successful chef. She reinforced my belief that broad, integrated learning and love for your work are at the heart of excelling in whatever you do."
Shipley violinist Saakshi Navile ’19 was selected to play in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) 2018 All-National Honor Symphony Orchestra Ensemble. She is the first Shipley student to achieve this distinction.
Thanksgiving is Steve's favorite holiday, and for good reason. It's a time for reflecting on what matters most and being grateful for what's around you. He recalls All-School President Henry Katz's words at the Thanksgiving All-School Assembly, about the small things being important and offers a few suggestions of little things to make others (and ourselves) a little calmer during the upcoming holiday season.
Two years ago, when Gyasi Miller ’24 was in fifth grade, it was no surprise his love of basketball inspired his Think, Care, Act project to clean up a park near his home. He presented a proposal to a local councilman, secured funding, and recently cut the ribbon to officially open the renovated park in October.
October proved to be a very busy yet fulfilling month. Dr. Piltch reflects, "It’s in experiences like this that I realize that as important as the academic program is, it's often the things that go with it—such as field trips and other co-curricular activities—that make a difference in people's lives."
The Shipley School is proud to announce the appointment of Michael G. Turner as the tenth Head of The Shipley School. Following the robust search process, which included all members of the Shipley community, the Board overwhelmingly supported the Search Committee’s recommendation of Michael.
In this month's letter, Steve expresses his gratitude to the Shipley community for a wonderful start to the new year. "In particular, thanks go to parents and guardians who have been there not only to support their own children, but also to reach out and find ways to make a difference in others’ lives and in the School."
It took courage to start a college preparatory school for women in the 1890s. The idea that women were as academically capable as men was controversial. Yet the Shipley sisters, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Katharine took on the challenge.
From teacher to librarian, paralegal to artist, Melanie “Mel” Chia-Yu Sze ’65, has lived many lives. As a lifelong learner and ceaseless adventurer, her career exemplifies the power of the excellent, multi-faceted education she received at Shipley. “My dad emphasized to me that everything can be taken away from you except your education,” she says. “Shipley started me on a road to see [education’s] real value.”
Whitney Stengel Kellett ’89, CIO at Aqua America, is part of a four-generation Shipley family. She values the compassion and broad thinking fostered by a Shipley education, in addition to its rigorous academic preparation – for herself and for her third-grade daughter.
Steve's summer was full of great nostalgia and special importance, including the wedding of his daughter and beginning his final year at Shipley. "Everywhere I turned, I found myself doing things that forced me to reflect on the many years I’ve had the privilege to spend as the Head of Shipley."
Even though Generations has been an important part of Shipley's seventh grade curriculum since the early 1990s, the multi-disciplinary unit is more relevant than ever in the personal and academic lives of students.
Shipley will mark the 125th anniversary of its founding during the 2018-2019 school year with many events and opportunities to celebrate Shipley’s past, present, and future and our rich tradition of positive change making in the classroom and beyond.
Shipley is the first school in the country to adopt a school-wide approach to Positive Education, which aims to strengthen academic and personal achievement through wellbeing using evidence-based techniques. What is wellbeing? Can you teach it? How do you incorporate a successful Positive Education practice in schools? Should you? Our panel explores these questions and more.
On Thursday, May 24 the Upper School held their annual Closing Awards Ceremony. During this ceremony, Shipley recognized the outgoing and incoming student leadership officers and presented students with academic, athletic, and leadership awards.
On April 21, several Shipley Lower School students participated in the first annual School Maker Faire, hosted by The Agnes Irwin School and The Baldwin School. Lower School science teacher Dan Del Duca shares his reflections on the day and excitement for next year's School Maker Faire.
Over Shipley's spring break, Steve and his wife traveled to China to visit Shipley families and schools in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. While his trip was one he will never forget, the most important lesson he learned was to remain open to and receptive of those who come from a different background, have different views, or simply look different.
Steve reflects on Shipley's March All-School Assembly, which highlighted moments of Shipley pride. "My hat is off to each and every student mentioned above and to all of our students who are seeking and finding excellence on an individual or collective basis."
After noticing a family out to dinner together engaging with their phones instead of each other, Steve reflected on the increased use of technology in our everyday lives and the effects it has on us as people. "Many of us—and I very much include myself—rely on our phones (and other technology) way too often."
January's All-School Assembly celebrated and honored Black History Month with a focus on courage. Steve recounts the special moments of the assembly and the powerful speeches given by Upper School students, "I was amazed by virtually everything that happened."
By the time Shipley students reach senior year, students are offered choice in which semester-long English electives they’d like to enroll. This offering of choice is meant to inspire learning based on students’ interests and the courses are designed to give students a college-like learning experience, and many of the courses interdisciplinary in nature. Learn more about the English Senior Seminar.
When Elizabeth Ralph ’06, was invited to join Politico Magazine in 2013, the Yale graduate leapt at the chance. As Deputy Editor, she oversees web publishing, monitors the article pipeline, and does “a ton of editing and assigning.” Shipley nurtured her drive towards discovery. “Shipley encouraged challenging conventional wisdom. My teachers were always willing to let me explore.”
Shipley's Head of School, Dr. Steve Piltch, has announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 academic year. Read letters from Steve and Brooksley Wylie, Chair of Shipley's Board of Trustees.
June Baldwin ’68 has enjoyed a remarkable career in broadcast television. She’s held a driving, steadfast focus on social impact. “Television’s a powerful medium for transforming consciousness, for giving a voice to those who don’t have one,” she says. And Shipley’s motto, Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing has been at the heart of her work.
Shipley’s Strategic Plan provides a strong vision to help guide the School into the next decade and beyond. Deeply rooted in Shipley’s mission and traditional ideals, the plan provides a framework for its continued commitment to excellence in education. How does Shipley’s Strategic Plan maintain the essential character of the School while boldly moving it forward? Members of Shipley’s Board of Trustees share their thoughts.
Elizabeth Vale ’72, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and significant member of the Obama White House, credits Shipley with teaching her everything she needed to know. She valued her Shipley education so much, she sent her daughter Ann ’03 to Shipley, where she, too, received an education that prepared her for a successful future.
I’m an introvert, and he’s an extrovert,” says Emily Chapin Vollkommer ’05, of herself and her brother Colin Chapin ’08. At Shipley, they both thrived. “We could be our own people,” Colin says. Read more about the Chapins and why they give back to Shipley.
Shipley's partnership with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia doctors and scientists to discover an objective way to diagnose concussions and prevent long-term effects was recently featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer article, "Concussions in teen athletes: Making sure the brain is OK before getting cleared to play."
Inspired by a recent trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., Steve is committed to the idea that we at Shipley must do what we can to fight the attitudes and behaviors associated with hatred, racism, and bigotry. "We continue to witness examples of discrimination, hatred, and disdain on a regular basis in virtually all walks of life. To facilitate growth and progress, we must be willing to push our own community and others to deal with the issues in a direct and open manner."
Kate thinks the opportunity to attend Shipley was the best gift she could have received. She is grateful for Shipley's commitment to compassionate participation in the world and strong academic foundation to prepare her for college and beyond. "The growth that I have experienced over just my last four years of high school is incredible and exciting."
Shipley’s print newspaper, The Beacon, recently received a Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) in the Scholastic Newspaper Print Critique category for the 2016-2017 academic year.
With hopes of working in business or politics in the Middle East, Grace says Shipley prepared her to observe the world with empathy and to seek and explore the nuances in the world, rather than accepting a simple answer.
October was a busy month at Shipley! Steve touches on a few of the important events Shipley hosted, including the Positive Education launch, an anti-bullying workshop in the Middle School, and Shipley's accreditation visit from Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools.
Rayna Mason '17 plans to pursue a career in digital media and communications. She credits Shipley for teaching her effective and efficient communications skills and allowing her to embrace her uniqueness.
Shipley inspired Dylan Matthews '17 every day to look deeper into current events and to make connections between the past and present. Shipley gave Dylan the space to find what he is passionate about and the resources to achieve his goals.
Fall is a busy time at Shipley, and in this month's letter, Steve shares some of his favorite memories from the All-School Assembly and Super Saturday. He also looks forward to the October 11th Positive Education Community Launch with Dr. James Pawelski.
Ellie Rampulla '17 began her education at Shipley in Kindergarten, then returned after ten years. "When I returned to Shipley after attending five other schools, I was stunned and impressed by the deeply-rooted values that every single Shipley student has. It is the Shipley community’s foundation of kindness, hard work, and compassionate participation in the world that makes it a truly incredible place."
Cesar Silva '17 says Shipley prepared him for self-advocacy and to step up and be a leader in his community. "I learned that as a leader in any setting, an official title does not determine the impact one makes in their community, but rather the actions of a person determine the impact one makes on their community."
Shipley's Director of Athletics, Mark Duncan, was recently featured in a Philly.com article, "The risks of your children and sports" which focuses on the considerations parents and guardians should take when deciding on sports participation with their children.
As the school year comes to a close, our seniors are starting to say their goodbyes. This post is taken from a speech by senior and All School President Katie Balun, who spoke at a recent event welcoming new Shipley parents to our community.
Studying Inspirational Figures is a hallmark of Shipley’s sixth-grade curriculum, culminating in an Instagram-style final project in history class. Here, students in Ms. Boreanaz’s class give us an inside look at the project process.
During this February’s All School Assembly, Shipley’s 6th Grade School Choir performed “You Are Courageous to Me,” an original song with music and lyrics by Sarah Shoumer ’23, a new student at Shipley this year. In this post, Sarah tells us how she took her song from the page to the stage.
As the school year closes, Steve finds inspiration in learning about the Shipley experience from many members of the community, and shares an important thought for the summer break, “The time to reflect often results in greater growth than being overscheduled.”
While mindfulness is something I’ve been interested in for a while, I only began seriously looking into it about a year ago. I started making regular practice a part of my life in the beginning of March, and already I can see a difference.
As an English teacher, it is important to me that my students learn to be effective writers, but it is also important to me that they are critical readers, thoughtful analyzers, and competent communicators. If I want to assess writing skills, the assessment has to be a paper. However, sometimes I want to assess something else for which writing is not the best or only option.
The end of the academic year is quickly approaching, and as schedules get hectic, Steve reminds us to slow down and enjoy the moment. He talks about the student-planned Impact Day activities in each division, and the last All-School Assembly of the year, the highly anticipated Oaks and Acorns celebration.
Picture this: there’s an instructor at the front of the class, and she’s teaching students how to read. Here’s the twist: these “students” aren’t your typical elementary school students – they’re your typical elementary school teachers. And in the workshop, titled “The Challenge of Learning to Read,” we were going to get to experience all over again what it was like to learn to read just as our students do in our classrooms every day.
With the completion of Shipley's Learning and Research Center (also known as "The LARC"), the opportunity arose to sift through the library's book collection. In this post, librarian and English teacher Kate Gearhart takes us through the history of some of the things she found left behind in the library.
From choosing which test is right for you to aiming for your perfect score, in this three-part series, Shipley students give the inside scoop on college admissions exams. In this week’s post, Eliza Green ‘18 and Natalie Shah ‘18 break down the ACT section by section to give insight into boosting your score.
Confidence to Explore: In this series, Shipley alumni show how the confidence they gained from their Shipley education didn’t end on graduation day. In this post, Maddie Norris ’12 explains how her experiences with Shipley’s French program and The Brain Tree School led her to Uganda and France today.
Inspired by the NCAA March Madness tournament, Steve stresses the importance of balance in the lives of our student-athletes. "We should have them in programs that stress the importance of balance in their lives – after all, even for athletes able to earn a scholarship, an athletics career will rarely last beyond college graduation."
From choosing which test is right for you to aiming for your perfect score, in this three-part series, Shipley students give the inside scoop on college admissions exams. In this week’s post, Shipley’s Natalia Joseph ’17 gives her top SAT testing tips.
The Ilyases were looking for something more than just an excellent academic education when they explored independent schools for their children. They wanted a school where their kids were going to be free to define themselves and feel a strong sense of community. Learn more about the Ilyases and how Shipley’s environment supports each child’s sense of identity.
Shipley's Lower School Student Council aims to strengthen the Lower School community by identifying and improving various aspects of the School, from lunch selections to after-school programs. Learn more about Lower School Student Council and hear from the students about why they feel it's important.
Andy Shepherd has been teaching at Shipley for 17 years, and for 17 years, he’s been giving back to the School. As the recipient of financial aid to attend private school, he says he gives to Shipley “to create opportunities for kids out there like me, who want a better opportunity.” Learn more about Andy Shepherd and why he gives back to Shipley.
You’ve probably seen Dana Veraldi ‘02’s t-shirts on friends and in magazines. Her brand book is a portfolio both of her products and her art. With fans like Justin Bieber, Orlando Bloom, and Mark Ruffalo, DEERDANA has achieved a cult following. Read about how this artist and Shipley alumna got her start and how her success has grown.
Members of Shipley’s DECA team attended a three-day State Career Development Conference in Hershey, PA, with 10 members qualifying for the International Career Development Conference, the most in Shipley’s DECA history.
In this month's letter, Steve speaks to the "remarkably positive" atmosphere and sense of things at Shipley. From a very successful Swamp Night, to athletics championships, to the fifth grade Think, Care, Act Fair, February has been a wonderful month for the Shipley community.
Vincent Fumo ’16 says that the most important part of his growth as a person at Shipley was rooted in the diversity of activities and clubs that were available to him. “These experiences have helped me learn who I am and what I love to do,” he says. In addition to a rich array of extracurricular options, Vincent appreciates the academic depth and breadth of his Shipley experience, and that he was able to tailor it to his specific interests. Learn more about Vincent and how Shipley prepared him for the future.
“I think writers are writers from the beginning,” says Roxana Barry Robinson ’64, who has enjoyed a decades-long career as a critically acclaimed journalist and author of fiction and biography. In her role as president at the Authors Guild, Robinson looks after the future of the writing profession. Read more about this award-winning author and Shipley alumna.
Shipley’s Girls’ Varsity Basketball team beat Germantown Academy 52-47 to win the PAISAA State Championship. This is the fourth state title in six years for the Gators and the third state title for Head Coach Sean Costello.
Mallory Avnet ’16 was shy and insecure when she first entered Shipley in eighth grade, but her experience in the Middle School musical changed all of that. “I reached higher, dared bigger, and smiled wider with each and every practice. Not only did I make friends for a lifetime, but I also finally became the girl I so longed to be,” she says. Learn more about Mallory, how she gained confidence, and how Shipley has prepared her for a very bright future.
Assistant Head of Middle School Stu Malcolm believes that “education should be more about process and less about content. ‘Content,’” he says, “is at our fingertips. The challenge is to give students the skills to manage, evaluate, and synthesize it into a meaningful whole.” Learn more about modern day Renaissance man, Stu Malcolm.
Leo Duke ’16 credits Shipley with making him the person he is today. Leo’s teachers engaged his critical thinking skills, pushed him to do his very best work, and made him feel like they were partners in his education. He simultaneously felt like he was part of a supportive community while maintaining his individuality and was pushed to “run to the roar” of life. Learn more about Leo and how Shipley has prepared him for life.
In our rapidly-changing world, there is a lot of uncertainty about the future. What skills, knowledge, and experiences will our students need in order to thrive professionally and personally? How can Shipley and other schools ensure that students are future ready? Shipley administrators and alumni weigh in on the topic.
Lauren Grajewski ’16 transferred to Shipley in her sophomore year of high school. She chose Shipley because of its strong theatre program and theatre faculty, who were invested in her success. Next year, she will attend NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for a BFA in Acting in the Stella Adler Studio. Learn more about Lauren Grajewski and how Shipley prepared her for the future.
What’s so special about Friday’s one o’clock bell in the Middle School? Mini courses, of course! These half-hour sessions focus on letting the students take control to explore new hobbies, grow their passions, and learn about themselves in the process. Read more about mini courses in the Middle School.
Dr. Piltch reflects fondly on time shared with two dear colleagues who recently passed in this month's letter. "Coach and Graham were birds of a feather. Although I do not think either one of them would have identified himself as a role model or mentor, they both used their roles as educators to impact people beyond the level that anyone could expect or anticipate."
Elise Dadourian ’16 had always been cast as the “innocent ingénue” in Shipley’s musical productions, until she was given the role of the provocative, Mae-West-inspired character in Godspell. “I was unquestionably out of my comfort zone. In order to master the character, I had to work hard,” she admits. Her extensive research, practice, dedication to the process, and self-discipline allowed her to successfully depict the character. “I learned to push myself beyond my insecurities, which is a lesson that I will apply to my non-theatrical pursuits in the future.” Read more about Elise and how Shipley has prepared her for the future.
Sophia Korfmann ’16 was pleasantly surprised by her fellow students’ motivation and excitement to learn when she first arrived at Shipley as a seventh grader. She found that the relationships she formed with her teachers and peers amplified her own learning. Sophia was particularly engaged by her interdisciplinary courses, which forced her to examine questions from multiple perspectives and gave her a greater understanding of different subjects. Learn more about Sophia and how Shipley helped prepare her for the future.
Nicholas Ragaglia ’16 feels well prepared for college and life, thanks to Shipley’s focus on academic freedom and support for individuality. “Growing up in the Shipley community, I have always been given room to do what I need to do to succeed. It is this philosophy that I think best prepared me for college,” he says. Learn more about Nicholas and how Shipley prepared him for the future.
McKinley Lovett ’16 recognizes the fact that while Shipley has prepared her well for academic and professional success in the future, she has more importantly learned how to be a good person in her 11 years as a student here. “I have learned the importance of kindness, friendship, integrity, and giving back to the community,” says the future Harvard graduate. Learn more about McKinley and how Shipley has prepared her for the future.
When Maya Overton ’16 came to Shipley as a freshman from her local public school, she never dreamed that she’d one day be Shipley’s All School President. As a STEM-oriented student, she never dreamed that she’d find interests in the humanities. In Shipley’s intimate community, she was challenged to venture outside of her comfort zone, where she felt supported by her teachers and peers and excelled. Read more about Maya and how Shipley has prepared her for the future.
Harrison Rusk ’16 acknowledges the multi-faceted impact that his teachers had on him at Shipley. In particular, he appreciates the passion they brought to the classroom, which inspired him to think deeply, participate in class discussions, and gain new perspectives. Learn more about Harrison and how Shipley helped prepare him for the future.
In this month's letter, Steve shares the details from a recent trip to Boston, including a visit to his childhood home and the wonderful experience he had with the current owners. As we all look to 2017, Steve offers his best wishes and reminds us to slow down and enjoy the precious moments with friends and family.
Brittainy Lovett ’16 benefitted from Shipley’s focus on supporting each student’s unique academic interests, even if they fall outside of the standard sequence. She says that “Shipley… encouraged me to push myself and excel in ways I never thought possible.” She even discovered extracurricular interests that she never anticipated. Learn more about Brittainy and how Shipley prepared her for the future.
Inspired by the popular television show "Shark Tank," eighth graders in Sean Legnini's technology class developed their own social networks and vied to survive pitching their technologies to a panel of sharks. While they didn't receive a monetary award, the real value was in the skills learned in the process.
In this month's letter Steve reflects on the recent Presidential election and cites Shipley's commitment to appreciating each member of our community and to being a safe, supportive, and understanding environment for everyone regardless of background.
Ally Schoenberg ’16 is grateful for the encouragement she received from teachers, advisors, and her peers at Shipley. She also appreciates Shipley’s emphasis on risk-taking, which has allowed her to achieve success in unexpected areas. Learn more about Ally and how Shipley has prepared her for the future.
Addison Leavy ’16 appreciates the fact that Shipley allowed her to have a balanced high school experience – giving her the opportunity to explore her academic and extracurricular interests freely. As the editor of the school newspaper, The Beacon, Addison learned how to be a leader, found her voice, and learned how to help others use their voices to inspire community dialog about important issues. Learn more about Addison and how Shipley helped prepare her for the future.
Mabel Silva ’16 discovered her passion for neuroscience and psychology in her senior honors course Comparative Anatomy and Neuroscience. She appreciates the encouragement and support she received at Shipley to challenge herself academically, as well as the opportunity to discover the importance of her voice. Learn more about Mabel and how Shipley helped prepare her for the future.
Benjamin Kimmel ’16 was heavily involved in the performing arts during his 14 years as a Shipley student. He learned how to play several instruments, performed in vocal ensembles, and participated in the Upper School theatre program. In the classroom, Benjamin discovered his passion for the sciences, which he will continue to study as a student at Princeton. Learn more about Benjamin and how Shipley helped prepare him for the future.
Shannon Smith ’16 found her passion in Shipley’s studio art classes, where her teachers and peers nurtured her talents, inspired her to learn about new mediums and techniques, and encouraged her to explore her creativity. In her role as Stage Manager for each of Shipley’s three theatre productions, Shannon took the greatest risks to learn important life lessons. Learn more about Shannon and how Shipley helped prepare her for the future.
In this month's letter, Steve expresses his joy in the changing of the seasons and recalls Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea during a recent walk on the beach. He relates Santiago's life skills to those we strive to teach our children and students. "By paying attention to their emotional development and their practical skills, we enhance the possibility that they will thrive as adults and deal with their challenges as successfully as Santiago."
Mengqiao chose Shipley because of the small class sizes and individualized attention. “With Shipley’s smaller classes, I’m able to focus more on how to better scaffold my students and how to better tailor my teaching strategy according to each student’s needs so they can enjoy and benefit more through their journey of learning.”
Newberry award-winning author Kwame Alexander had Middle and Upper school students roaring with laughter during his talk on Monday morning. His talk focused on perseverance, inspiration, and using writing as a tool for expression and creativity.
Owain Thorogood ’16 attributes his preparation for college and the real world to the well-rounded experience he had at Shipley, where he explored and excelled in athletics, music, and academics. After only two years at Shipley, he says that he experienced tremendous growth as an individual. Learn more about Owain and how Shipley helped prepare him for the future.
Nick Wojtelwicz ’16 says that the most important lesson he learned while at Shipley was that success comes with failure. Nick worked hard as an honors student and varsity baseball player, acknowledging that his hard work has paid off and would not have been possible without the encouragement of his teachers. Learn more about Nick and how Shipley prepared him for the future.
As a Lifer who has attended Shipley since PreK, Jake Trachtenberg ’16 is grateful for the strong academic foundation that he received in Lower School. In addition to the academic preparation he received here, “Shipley has prepared me for college and life by nurturing my passions while also pushing me to do more inside and outside of the classroom.” Learn more about Jake and how Shipley has prepared him for the future.
Evan Spector ’16 appreciates Shipley’s supportive environment, in which he felt encouraged to take risks and venture outside of his comfort zone. He appreciates the strong relationships he formed with his teachers, who pushed him to get involved with and become a leader in student groups. Learn more about Evan and how Shipley helped prepare him for the future.
Shipley is proud to announce sixth grader Katherine Foulke’s play Kindness Is Like Soooo Two Hundred Years Ago has been selected by the Philadelphia Young Playwrights to be performed live on stage during the New Voices Festival at Temple University.
In this month's letter, Steve shares his excitement about the beginning of the school year, reflects on the events of 9/11, and speaks to how we can all discuss the upcoming election effectively.
"In this environment, we find ourselves compelled to hope for a systematic change that brings an exchange of ideas (not just in the election but also everywhere) in place of today’s exchange of negativity. We can only accomplish this work if we hold ourselves in the elective process to higher standards. While there may not be a clear path to doing so nationally, we will make that effort here at school by being open to and understanding of a range of points of view."
“From my first visit to Shipley, it was clear that both adults and students value and actively foster an effective balance between academic excellence, curiosity across disciplines, positive social interaction, and share responsibility for the community at large.”
Eric Yang ’16 says that Shipley was a life-changing experience for him as a Chinese student studying abroad. In addition to expanding his academic horizons, Eric learned how to effectively collaborate with others, lead a group, and organize a large scale event, he discovered new passions, and was given opportunities to explore his potential. Learn more about Eric and how Shipley helped prepare him for the future.
Three-sport athlete Emily Talluto ’16 never played lacrosse before coming to Shipley in ninth grade. Next year, she’ll play for Division I LaSalle, an achievement she credits to all of her Shipley coaches. Through sports, says Emily, “I learned how to hold my own, be strong, and be a leader.” Learn more about Emily and how Shipley help prepare her for the future.
Avery Yecies ’16 is a Shipley Lifer who appreciates aspects about each stage of her 14-year Shipley career. In Lower School, she fell in love with learning and learned that she thrived in group settings. In Middle School, she discovered her passion for field hockey. In Upper School, Avery learned the importance of community. Read more about Avery, what else she learned at Shipley, and how Shipley prepared her for the future.
Ben Willner ’96 never expected to send his children to the school that challenged him so much as a kid. His wife, Erica, a public school advocate, couldn’t have imagined sending her kids to a private school. Now, he can’t think of a better gift to give his daughters than the rigor and support of Shipley’s education, and she’s convincing her friends to send their children to Shipley. Read the Willner family’s Shipley story.
For Julie and Benjamin Nesmith, parents of Britnee, Brandee ’15, and Benjamin ’24, the multifaceted word “support” is deeply woven into their personal philosophy of education. They believe that parents, children, and schools form a unique partnership, and that the parents’ role, integral to the success of the partnership, is to support their children, the teachers, and the School. Learn more about how the Nesmith family has supported Shipley for over 10 years.
When Philadelphia’s famed French chef Georges Perrier announced he would close his iconic restaurant, Le Bec-Fin, scores of fine-diners sadly took note and quickly made reservations for a final meal at the Center City restaurant. For documentary filmmaker and Shipley alumna Erika Frankel ’96, the news inspired much more than dreams of a decadent dinner. Read more about Frankel's most recent film project and how she is finding success in following her passion for storytelling through film.
Ben Ynocencio ’15 is excited for his future, which he hopes to dedicate to his passion for food, the environment, and education by running a self-sufficient farm, restaurant, and education center. “Shipley has instilled in me a drive to achieve my goals and an open mind to adapt and evolve as necessary,” he says of the school which also helped transform him from a shy seventh grader into an outgoing and confident senior.
From the simple act of rescuing a street dog in Bosnia to the intricacies of coordinating international counterterrorism policy, Dr. Raffi Gregorian ’81 continually strives to make the world a better, more peaceful place. Throughout his nearly 30-year career, Dr. Gregorian has played a significant role in high-level foreign and security affairs, as both a civilian and as a Naval officer, at the helm of interagency, complex, and multinational post-conflict operations.
David Wolfson ’15 recognizes the fact that not all schools have an environment where students feel comfortable participating in Mathletes in the morning and playing varsity basketball in the afternoon, like he did at Shipley. “There is a common feeling between students that allows us to take risks, try new things, and feel comfortable leaving our comfort zones,” David says about Shipley’s warm environment.
The college admissions process remains a hot topic for high school students and parents. Increasing levels of selectivity at colleges and universities across the country have added to the fervor. Frequently, college counselors are on the front line—advising students and parents about academic choices, service interests, and other activities in pursuit of the “best” college admission outcome. But amidst this cluttered and sometimes confusing landscape, Janet Kobosky, Director of College Counseling, has reason for hope.
With the opening of the Chris Wagner Arts Center in September of 2015, Chris Fornaro and his fellow STEAM teachers seized the opportunity to create a new home for their growing program by taking over the empty art spaces in the Upper School and establishing Shipley’s first MakerSpace, a modern-day workshop that's transforming the way students learn.
Hunter Vander Zwaag ’15 knows that Shipley has prepared him well for life. “I have grown to love learning, to speak my mind, and to always be curious,” he says of what he learned here. In addition falling in love with Latin and the Classics, Hunter appreciates the fact that he was able to discover his affinity for the theater late in his Shipley career.
Spencer Strauss ’15 attended Shipley for 13 years and claims, “I can honestly say I liked going to school everyday.” From exceptional teachers who knew her as an individual and encouraged her to just be herself, to the early and frequent opportunities to take risks and develop confidence, Spencer is grateful for her many memorable Shipley experiences.
Steve Baris, Chair of Shipley’s Art Department, had an extraordinary and unconventional upbringing. The experiences cultivated in him a spirit of independence and adventure that sent him fighting fires in the West, hitchhiking throughout Africa, and studying art in Rome before dropping him at the door of 814 Yarrow Street.
Fourth grade teacher Linda Van Horn is one of Shipley’s most beloved educators. Everything that she does is about her students and about creating meaningful experiences to help solidify their learning. Learn more about this one-of-a-kind teacher.
“If Shipley is anything like a microcosm for the rest of my life,” says Emma Scornavacchi ’15, “I’m thrilled to look forward to what’s to come.” This aspiring writer appreciates the many opportunities for getting involved and taking intellectual risks provided to her by Shipley, where she felt challenged and supported by her teachers.
Leniter in Modo. It’s a short phrase with big meaning. Whether in Latin or English, people’s interpretations of it vary. A Shipley administrator, alumna, and tenth grade student explain what Grace for the Doing means to each of them. If you know Shipley, you know our motto, but what does it really mean? In this roundtable discussion, we explore the idea of grace.
“Students are all on a path from concrete to abstract thinking, and my job is to get students further down that path,” explains English teacher Kirsten Small. Every student makes the leap, she says, and it usually takes place during her class’s study of Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Learn about why this important book resonates with Shipley's seventh graders and what they learn from it.
Pinky Rowe ’15 never considered herself a “math student,” but was encouraged by her college counselor to take an honors calculus class during her senior year. Though she doubted her ability at first, she succeeded with the support of her teacher. “Risk taking at Shipley is always encouraged,” she says, “because every teacher is dedicated to supporting you and watching you grow.”
Steve discusses the development of good decision making skills in our students, and how we can teach them how to responsibly deal with and learn from the consequences of bad decisions. He says, “If we can find a way to help our students consider the ramifications of their actions in advance and behave in a consistent manner, both during the times of struggle and the times of success, then we are helping them become well-rounded individuals who are prepared for the world.”
Since the 90's, Shipley has partnered with Agnes Irwin, Baldwin, and Haverford to bring students together for an extra-curricular, educational consortium. This year's collaborative curriculum focuses on art history.
William McKenna ’15 appreciates the fact that Shipley creates an atmosphere where students from all walks of life can not only learn and work together, but also appreciate and celebrate one another’s diverse ways of thinking and being. He also appreciates the many skills he learned in his seven years here, “from writing a paper or finding the derivative of a function, to creating realistic goals for myself and learning how to push my intellectual and personal boundaries.”
Eddie McCann ’15 thrived in Shipley’s atmosphere of learning, exploration, and risk-taking. He was able to pursue and discover his many interests while succeeding academically. “Shipley has prepared me well for my life beyond high school, because I learned how to both succeed and recover from failure in a variety of settings, whether on the stage, court, or in the classroom.”
As part of their Social, Emotional, and Ethical Development (SEED) curriculum, eleventh graders and their families hear from Dr. Ken Ginsburg, author of Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love with Expectations and Protection with Trust.
As a freshman, Sydney Majors ’15 had a difficult time balancing her academic obligations with her serious commitment to a competitive volleyball league, while still playing volleyball for Shipley. Thankfully, her understanding teachers made it possible for her to thrive in the classroom while pursuing her passion for volleyball—both inside and outside of Shipley. She was recruited to play for the University of Chicago’s varsity volleyball team and says, “I could not be more excited!”
Each year, historical figures and popular culture icons such as Annie Oakley and Steve Jobs come alive in Shipley’s third grade classrooms. Read more about this much-anticipated project and see photos from the student presentations.
Drawing inspiration from shows like The Layover with Anthony Bourdain, students in Annette Marrecau's seventh grade Spanish class plan what they would do on a 24-hour layover while building confidence to speak publicly in a foreign language.
Nia Holland ’15 never expected to play Division I basketball after high school or that she’d grow so much academically as a Shipley student. To what does she does she attribute her academic success? The time management skills she learned here.
Zoë Helmers ’15 credits Shipley with developing her confidence as a student, athlete, and young woman. Her Shipley experience also sparked her passion for sustainability and the environment, a passion she plans on exploring as a student at Wake Forest University. Most importantly, “Shipley taught me that you don’t need to become the President or cure cancer to make a difference. Being a good human being is, in the end, the most important thing.”
The Middle School teaching duo of Christine Hutchinson and Peter Schumacher teamed up to create a musically-inspired interdisciplinary English and History project for their eighth graders. Read more about why they brought Bruce Springsteen, U2, and more into the classroom.
Jordan Gottlieb ’15 admits that she was a bit “rough around the edges” when she entered Linda Van Horn’s fourth grade class, where she first learned the value of hard work. “This initial push has inspired a lifetime of always putting my best effort forward,” she says. And no matter what she chooses to study or to do with her life, she feels like Shipley has prepared her well to succeed in all arenas.
The annual fifth grade Think, Care, Act Fair celebrates our students' compassionate participation in the world through student-led service projects. Today's TCA Fair showcased dozens of projects ranging from animal rights to water consumption.
“Throughout my time at Shipley,” says Kaela Gundy ’15, “I have realized that hard work is the key to true success.” This is just one of many important life lessons that Kaela has learned in her 14 years as a Shipley student.
Ethan Bradlow '15 is grateful for the growing opportunities for STEAM learning in Shipley’s Upper School, which enabled him to apply some of his Java coding skills during a summer internship. Outside of the classroom, his athletic pursuits while at Shipley led to some of his strongest relationships and most memorable experiences.
There’s an old saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." While there isn’t any fishing happening in Marian Roche’s second grade classroom, she uses the same basic idea in teaching her students the foundational skills for reading and spelling.
Steve discusses Shipley’s commitment to fostering a constructive college admissions process for our students and the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s recent report on transforming the mainstream college admissions process, “Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions.”
As part of the Middle School Service Learning curriculum, known as Service Fridays, students travel to off-site locations to volunteer their time. One local organization, SHARE, featured Shipley's volunteer efforts in their monthly newsletter.
For athlete, musician, and intellectual David Bakali ’15, Shipley provided many opportunities to work hard while pursuing his varied interests. An open and accepting student body, as well as teachers who challenged him and cared about his success, contributed to his positive Shipley experience, which he says prepared him well for the academic rigor of college.
A summer obsession with the popular HGTV and DIY Network tiny house television shows inspired Middle School science teacher Caroline Feldman. With a curriculum based on sustainability, she challenged her eighth graders to create their own, fully-sustainable, tiny houses.
When the Bender family faced the prospect of a second cross-continental move in as many years, they knew it would be important to find a school that shared their values and provided a rigorous academic program balanced with support for students. The Benders found that school in Shipley and have enjoyed a seamless transition into the community. Read more about the Bender’s Shipley story.
Catherine Stewart ’01 credits her Shipley teachers with teaching her how to work hard and developing in her a respect for process. Now, after graduating from Yale and Cambridge, she has built a successful and exciting career in business, helping companies like Random House, Facebook, and Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) to grow.
The 2015-2016 academic year will be remembered as a milestone year in Shipley history. With the excitement of the new building, one of Shipley’s Action Research teams is working to find how the trends in spatial issues have changed for Upper School students and what more could be done to improve student life.
Dr. Helen Thackray ’86 has had a successful career in medicine and biotechnology, thanks to the solid academic foundation she received in math and science at Shipley. As the Chief Medical Officer & Vice President of Clinical Development at GlycoMimetics, she is currently working on a treatment for sickle cell disease, while holding a position as Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine. Learn more about Dr. Thackray.
The results are in, and Shipley’s constituents say they are pleased with everything that a Shipley education has to offer. “You should be proud,” says Kevin Graham of Lookout Management, Inc., who has conducted similar surveys at 100 other independent schools and has worked with Shipley for the past 15 years.
Betsy Paluk Rath ’95 feels fortunate to be able to give back to Shipley, and hopes that her contributions help preserve the School’s resources and the community she benefited from so it will be there for the next generation.
Steve shares his thoughts on Shipley’s integrated service learning program and its impact on students. He also finds a powerful metaphor in Shipley’s winter concerts for how we can move beyond the threat of identity politics to create an environment of inclusion and peace in our world.
In the grand scheme of things, it hasn’t been around for all that long. But in an era of passing fads and flash-in-the-pan movements, Shipley’s 24-year-old Oaks and Acorns tradition stands tall, holding a firm place in the hearts of a generation of students, colleagues, parents, and alumni. Learn more about this touching rite of passage.
The Middle School Winter Concert was the first performance held in the new Shipley Commons, and what a fantastic one it was! The string, wind, choral, and handbell ensembles performed numbers from Gioachino Rossini's "William Tell Overture" to Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4".
Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing. If you know Shipley, you know our motto, but what does it really mean? In this roundtable discussion, we explore the idea of courage. A Shipley teacher, Trustee, and fifth grade student explain what Courage for the Deed means to each of them.
It was standing room only as our Upper School students delivered an outstanding performance of their musical talents at the Winter Concert. The Handbells, Glee Club, Chamber Orchestra, Shipley Singers, and the Jazz Ensemble each performed. As Head of Upper School Margaret van Steenwyk said, "It was hard to believe they were high school students!"
On Thursday, November 19, Shipley welcomed Dr. Laurence Steinberg, an expert on the science behind adolescent brain development who presented a program for 9th and 10th grade students and parents. Dr. Steinberg’s research has focused on a range of topics in the study of contemporary adolescence, including adolescent brain development, risk-taking and decision-making, parent-adolescent relationships, adolescent employment, high school reform, and juvenile justice. His latest book, The Age of Opportunity explores the science behind adolescent brain development.
Shipley alumna Hannah Nicholas ’06 has made a career out of her love of music, most recently joining the New World Symphony Orchestra as a violist. She credits Shipley with encouraging her to follow her own path and develop a strong sense of individuality. That sense informs her varied musical explorations and pursuits, and fuels her drive to continue learning.
The community unit of the Kindergarten social studies curriculum engages students to learn more about the people and places around them. Based on their own curiosity the students write questions and conduct their own interview, beginning with their classmates and ending with field trips to local businesses.
Jay Jennings ’91 redefines what it means to be a “lifer” at Shipley. As a Middle School math teacher and coach for the last 21 years, he tries to connect on a personal level with the students he teaches and coaches as a way of inspiring them to learn and strive for excellence.
The Shipley community celebrated its annual Super Saturday event and held a ribbon cutting ceremony and building dedication for the new Shipley Commons & Chris Wagner Arts Center on Saturday, September 19.
Technology has become an everyday part of the Shipley curriculum. With a technology coach in each division, the additional resources allow even the youngest of students to get their feet wet in coding and programming. Read more to learn about how Shipley's emphasis on learning coding and programming can prepare students for success in any career, even one without a technology component.
Steve welcomes back the community for the 2015-2016 school year and discusses Wallace Nichols’ book Blue Mind, which explores the restorative power of water, in relation to Shipley’s Social, Emotional, and Ethical Development (SEED) program.
Shipley's Engineering for Kids Encore Clubs present science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to students in age-appropriate, hands-on ways to kindle children’s natural curiosity about how things work. Teacher Javier Garay escorts students through the problem-solving process using real world issues to encourage discovery and exploratory learning.
In Shipley’s second grade, students’ work on the writing process lays a foundation for future academic success and, more specifically, their end-of-year Desert Zoo research projects. It all starts with learning how to write a paragraph using the hamburger method.
What can constructing a chair out of newspaper and tape teach a sixth grader about creative problem solving? a lot! While constructing the most stable chair is the obvious goal of this project, teacher Caroline Feldman’s goal for her students points to the process. Read more about how the sixth grade chair project inspires creative problem solving.
Shipley is shaping its growing STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math) program from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, including the addition of a maker space in Upper School, cross-curricular projects school wide, and curriculum tailored toward the future.
How does Shipley develop in its students the inherent qualities of a good leader? By understanding child development from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, Shipley’s program challenges emerging leaders to take risks and build the confidence to succeed.
How could fourth graders learn about several events leading up to the Revolutionary War in one day? Through an intensive preparation process, Shipley fourth graders organized and facilitated a student-led debate on who is to blame for the Revolutionary War.
How does Shipley develop in its students the inherent qualities of a good leader? By understanding child development from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, Shipley’s program challenges emerging leaders to take risks and build the confidence to succeed.
Shipley’s student-led conferences provide an in-depth, personalized look at the student’s learning experience. Facilitated by the student rather than the teacher, parents and teachers alike work together to understand the student’s needs, praise their accomplishments, and plan for a bright future.
In Peter Schumacher’s eighth grade class, the history of the modern world is studied through the interdisciplinary themes of urbanization, technology, and government. The thematic approach aims at getting students to understand the world they live in today—where it came from, how it came to be, and why.
All parents want their children to be safe. But can young athletes be safe and competitive in contact sports? Our panel discusses the impact of brain injuries and safety on the culture of youth sports, as well as the implications of Shipley’s no-heading policy in Middle School soccer.
Shipley is proud to announce its groundbreaking partnership with the Concussion Legacy Foundation to solve the sports concussion crisis impacting our youth. This fall, Shipley will introduce the use of Triax sensors for Upper School athletes playing contact sports. All student athletes will wear the monitors, which will help identify significant impacts and will be part of the Hit Count program.
When Laura and Dave ’89 Palmer began the process of picking a school for their children, Shipley wasn’t their obvious choice. However, “The more we researched,” says Dave, “the more we realized that the Shipley of today is even better than the Shipley I went to.”
Are people born leaders, or can leadership be taught? What role should educational institutions play in teaching leadership skills? Our Shipley Magazine roundtable feature explores the topic with four leaders in their own fields.
The decision to give back to Shipley through the Annual Fund was easy for parents Bartholomew Tortella and Maureen Fitzpatrick. “The integrated, hand-crafted educational approach to learning… sets Shipley apart from the other independent schools in the area,” says Tortella.
Middle School teachers Jeff Hanna and Peter Schumacher both have a passion for collaboration and creativity. Shipley’s focus on interdisciplinary teaching and learning supports the art and history duo teaming up to create “the building project,” while learning across disciplines promotes higher-order critical-thinking skills in students.
Each year, historical figures and pop-culture icons such as Annie Oakley and Steve Jobs come alive in Shipley’s third grade classrooms for Bagels & Biographies. The students’ rigorous preparation, impressive presentation skills, and unbounded creativity contribute to the success of this much-anticipated annual event.
Interdisciplinary studies are gaining popularity at the collegiate level – and at Shipley. Find out what the fuss is all about and how interdisciplinary studies are being implemented at Shipley from Pre-K through Grade 12.
What can one Shipley fifth grader accomplish? Whatever he or she sets his or her mind to! Each year, Dr. Usha Balamore inspires fifth graders to explore their talents and cultivate them into service projects to make the world a better place. Read about her character education curriculum and the students' Think, Care, Act projects.
Gabe Fish ’15 writes about one of his favorite aspects of Shipley: its emphasis on reaching outside of one’s comfort zone to try new things. The School’s inclusive environment and teachers who know students well help students discover and develop new interests.
Shipley's Lower School students may think that their physical education classes are all fun and games, but they're participating in an innovative and fun program designed to build the foundations of efficient athletic movement – and get their bodies moving.
In Jessie Willing’s Upper School Bioethics senior science elective, there are no right or wrong answers. Students explore difficult issues through ethical inquiry: asking questions, gathering relevant background information, reasoning through a dilemma, making a decision, and evaluating the outcome.
What does it take to put on a theater production from scratch? Our Middle School theater students would know. This fall they wrote, produced, directed, and performed in an original production staged in Riely Theatre. While the final performance was spectacular, the process leading up to the curtain call was where the real magic happened.
Shipley Lower School teachers and students were excited to welcome future Head of Lower School Tim Lightman into their classrooms on Tuesday, February 19 for his first visit to campus since the announcement of his appointment on December 17.
Shipley’s varsity girls’ basketball team has entered a new era of success under the leadership of head coach Sean Costello. Most recently, the team has won two consecutive Friends School League titles, as well as the PAISAA Independent State Championship in 2012 – a first in school history. What’s been the team’s secret? Year-round dedication, lots of hard work, and speed on the court.
Shipley Freshman Philip Johnson earned a coveted place in the 2013 Philadelphia District Orchestra, comprised of high school students from Montgomery and Bucks counties. Only forty violinists out of 160 were accepted. He placed tenth in the rigorous audition process. What helped him get there? Lots and lots of practice.
With the delivery of a 7-foot Steinway & Sons concert grand piano in Riely Theatre, Shipley is thrilled to announce its intention of becoming an “All-Steinway” school - a unique distinction for a PreK - Grade 12 institution.
Seven Shipley students were named as winners in the 2012 Philly Young Playwrights Annual Playwriting Festival. However, our fifth graders learn more than how to write plays in the Philly Young Playwrights program.
In the summer of 2010, Upper School math and science teacher Josh Berberian left the comforts of home – including his wife and three children – to hike the 220-mile Pennsylvania portion of the Appalachian Trail. Alone.
With funding from Shipley’s Denis Nicholson Asselin Professional Development Award, he set off on a “journey of the spirit.” A journey that he thought would give him “ample opportunity to reflect professionally and personally—as a teacher, leader, father, and husband.” In his proposal for the professional development grant he mused, “I do wonder what so much solitude will bring me. My hope is that I find myself re-centered, having figured out the priorities in my life, and appreciating more all that I have.”
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.